News Release

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has endorsed the Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act of 2017, introduced today by Senators Bernie Sanders, Bob Casey, and Corey Booker.  The new legislation would instruct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue regulations allowing the importation of qualifying prescription drugs from Canada. Drugs imported under this Act would have to be manufactured at FDA-inspected facilities from licensed Canadian sellers.  Research has shown that Americans frequently pay as much as twice the price for prescription drugs as people in other countries do.  Given that the average American senior depends on several prescription drugs, the potential cost savings are significant.

“This legislation represents a common sense way to help financially struggling seniors with high drug prices.  Individual seniors could save hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars a year by legally purchasing prescription drugs from Canada,” said Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Among other things, the proposed legislation:

  • Permits wholesalers, licensed pharmacists and individuals to import drugs from Canada;
  • Creates a certification process for Canadian wholesalers and licensed pharmacists who would be allowed to sell drugs to US buyers;
  • Allows the HHS Secretary to approve laboratories to conduct random testing of prescription drugs to test their authenticity.

“We are convinced that the legislation includes ample precautions so that seniors can purchase drugs from Canada without having to worry about safety. Any business that manufactures or sells imported drugs must be 100% FDA-approved,” said Richtman.

In two years, the bill would also permit drug imports from countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that meet specified standards comparable to those in the United States.

“Now is the time for Congress to put special interests aside and finally relieve the burden on seniors’ pocketbooks by allowing the importation of the prescription drugs they depend on,” said Richtman.


The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy,

education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff.  The work of the

National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.


Media Inquiries to:

Pamela Causey 202-216-8378/202-236-2123

Walter Gottlieb 202-216-8414